A couple of months ago I hosted our first art activity with Generation Hope Scholars, their children, and mentors. Generation Hope is a non-profit organization founded by my daughter, Nicole Lynn Lewis, that provides direct sponsorships and mentoring support to teen parents in the Washington, DC area who are attending college. We had a lot of fun making art that expressed themes of peace, hope, and community. On Saturday, April 28th, I hosted a second art workshop with the children while the Scholars and mentors attended workshops dealing with college planning and crisis management. The art that we created during the workshops will become part of a collage symbolizing the spirit of Generation Hope. It will be auctioned off at their 1st annual Gala on June 29th, "Pep Rally Under the Stars", which celebrates the first year of the Scholar Program. Proceeds from the event will go to Generation Hope’s Scholar Program, funding field trips, trainings, the Emergency Scholar Fund, and expenses to keep the program running.
As the children drew with crayons and markers on colorful paper, they moved their whole bodies and expressed delight with the lines, shapes and patterns they had created. Some pasted a variety of shapes over their patterns, fascinated by the stickiness of the glue. As an artist and art teacher who has worked with children of all ages, I realize that when very young children make art, it's all about the process rather than a product.
Susan Striker, well known art educator and author of Young at Art: Teaching Toddlers Self-Expression, Problem-Solving Skills, and an Appreciation for Art, tells us "Just as children kick before they crawl and crawl before they walk, so too all children will taste a crayon before they scribble and go through several years of progressing through the scribble stage before they begin to depict realistic objects".
Author and educator of art books for children, MaryAnn Kohl states that "Where art is concerned, it is the process of creating -- exploring, discovering, and experimenting -- that has the greatest value. Through self-expression and creativity, children's skills will develop naturally, and their ability to create will soar". Two Year Olds Make Art: Feel, Touch, Stipple and Scribble!
I will keep you posted on how our final creation comes together!